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The original item was published from 3/8/2023 10:18:45 PM to 3/16/2023 2:20:03 PM.

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Posted on: March 8, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Celebrate Titusville’s Efforts to Restore the IRL’s Health - Osprey Nutrient Removal Project

Oval picture of Indian River Lagoon

Join us as we celebrate the completion of the Osprey Nutrient Removal Upgrade Project—A project environmentally focused on restoring the health of the Indian River Lagoon. 

According to Kevin Cook, P.E., Titusville’s Public Works Director, “The Osprey Water Reclamation Plant is our older water reclamation facility, and it has been upgraded and improved over the years. However, this upgrade is different because it focuses on upgrading the processes in order to reduce the amount of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) in the reclaimed water it produces.” The reduced nutrient content of the reclaimed water will reduce the amount of nutrient loading to the Indian River Lagoon by an estimated 26,475 pounds/year. The upgrade project is anticipated to reduce the effluent concentrations of TN to 3 milligrams per liter (mg/L) and TP to 1 mg/L.

“This celebration is a great way to highlight Titusville’s efforts and all of the funding government agencies’ efforts to improve the health of our Indian River Lagoon,” explained Cook. Funding for the Osprey upgrade was provided through grants and cost-share agreements from several agencies including $500,000 from the State of Florida; $1,300,000 from St. Johns River Water Management District, and $9,100,000 from Brevard County Save Our Indian River Lagoon (SOIRL) Plan. Costs for the project (including design and construction) were budgeted at an estimated $13.5 million dollars. 

The Osprey Water Reclamation Facility is one of two water reclamation plants in the City of Titusville. The advanced wastewater treatment at these facilities provides effluent that can be reused (or reclaimed) for uses such as irrigation. The Osprey has a permitted capacity of 2.75 million gallons per day.

Restoring the health of the Indian River Lagoon (IRL) is dependent upon reducing the amount of pollutants that enter it. Excess irrigation with reclaimed water negatively impacts the health of the IRL because it causes runoff that transports pollutants into stormwater systems and then into local water bodies. Moreover, since reclaimed water, itself, contains both nitrogen and phosphorus, it contributes to algal growth in water bodies. In the lagoon, the debris from runoff can smother sea grass and the contaminants can overload the lagoon with nutrients. This overload leads to algae blooms and their subsequent decay that rob the water of oxygen, killing plants, fish, and wildlife. Excess reclaimed water irrigation can also pass both nitrogen and phosphorus into groundwater, which ultimately passes these nutrients to surface water bodies.

The public is invited to attend the Osprey Nutrient Removal Upgrade Project Completion Celebration on Thursday, March 16, from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. in the Council Chamber (2nd floor) at the City of Titusville City Hall located at 555 S. Washington Avenue, Titusville, FL 32796. Tours and transportation to the Osprey facility will be provided. Light refreshments will be served. In order to ensure bus seating is available, anyone wishing to attend the tour must respond by scanning the QR code QR code that links to RSVP website for Osprey Nutrient Removal Upgrade Project Eventor clicking here. You can also call (321) 567-3865, Option 4. Space is limited. The Osprey is an operating water reclamation plant. For security and safety, tours will only be provided to bus riders. Tour attendees may encounter uneven walking surfaces, steps, etc. Certain areas of the plant may have a strong odor. 

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